Housebuilder of ‘aspirational’ Hartlepool development joins popular protest against partner of 12 years

Persimmon Homes has joined the attack on Bellway Homes for building social housing on a site previously reserved for private homes.

The news follows growing concern from private residents over homes on estates marketed as for private sale, but later converted to social housing when sales proved difficult. In March, Building revealed that residents on three Bellway sites were planning to sue the builder over the issue.

Persimmon has joined nearly 100 residents on the Bishop Cuthbert estate in Middle Warren, Hartlepool, and lodged an objection to the plans on the council’s website. This is despite the fact that in 1997, the two formed a 12-year partnership to develop the estate.

Peter Jordan, Persimmon’s regional projects director, said “all hell broke loose” when estate residents found out about plans to build 35 rent-to-buy and 15 social homes.

The homes were included to attract funding from the government’s Kickstart initiative, which is intended to restart work on stalled housing sites. Earlier this month the government granted Bellway £1.9m to build 50 social homes on the “prestige” estate in County Durham.

Persimmon is particularly annoyed because, it says, Bellway lodged the application for Kickstart funds without consulting it.

Persimmon says it is objecting to the application because it thinks “regeneration” housing would be more suitable within Hartlepool, rather than the “aspirational” estate on its northern outskirts.

Buyers say they exchanged contracts based on the old masterplan after the planning application for the social housing had been lodged. Persimmon claims that some buyers of homes built under the firm’s upmarket Charles Church brand have already walked away from the deals.

In February this year, homeowners on The Chase “executive” development in Hampshire accused Bellway of turning it into a “glorified council estate” after it sold 30 units to a housing associations [sing or pl?].